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The power of women: National Health Bill Passed


One of the most powerful tool women have is their “voice” which is used to transform words to action. This was demonstrated in FCT, Abuja on the 18th of May, when thousands of Nigeria women and public health activists crowded around the National Assembly complex in protest over the delay of passing the Health Bill. In less than 24hrs the National Health Bill which has been pending for years was passed by the National Assembly.

Some of the placards bore the inscriptions: "Market Women Association (FCT), Pass the National Health Bill; 241,000 new born die yearly!!! Stop the death!! Nigeria needs the Health Bill; Life Expectancy: Nigeria - 42 years, Ghana - 60 years"; and "we have voted, give us health care, pass the Bill"; "fix the health system, pass the National Health Bill," among others.

The women, though armed with only placards, were only let into the premises of the national assembly to use the protest ground after they threatened to go nude.
The protesters were however pacified by the Senate Health Committee Chairman, Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, who, in the company of Senator Gyang Dantong (PDP, Plateau), assured them that work was in progress on the Bill. Senate Iyabo said the seeming delay in passing the National Health Bill was informed by the need to ensure that all necessary variables that will make it people-oriented and beneficial were taken care of.

The protesting women, mostly members of the Federal Capital Territory said the lawmakers were delaying over the bill, whose passage would strengthen the primary healthcare system and reduce cost of medical care for rural dwellers.

According to the Senate President, David Mark, he said, the bill was not passed as a result of the women protesters that demanded immediate passage of the bill. It is true that the bill has taken a while but we were able to pass it. Anything that has to do with health has to pass through rigorous scrutiny. We did not pass the bill because people were protesting yesterday; we are only doing our work. The bill was slated in the order paper yesterday when they were protesting.

One could have assumed that it is one of those things that women make noise about but indeed the noise worked. It was effective and powerful and there was immediate action.

I say a big congratulation to all Nigerian Women and especially the market women who formed major part of the team. This is to say that all women either educated or not educated have a big role to play in National development. Women should appreciate themselves and know what they worth. I am glad for my country women and I am sure we are getting there.

Women have indeed made real difference and bring about a change for the Nation; they have to transform words into action and results.

The challenge now lies in the implementation of the bill to meet up the people’s expectation. We expect a good health care system for all especially for women and children. We hope that maternal mortality and child mortality will reduce to meet up the 2015 MDGs. We hope to have our hospitals equipped and furnished with live saving tool and drug. There will be no more situation of emergency and there are no doctors in the health centre to attend to patience, there should be no more shortage of drugs supply and our medical personnel should receive more training on life-saving skills.

Though there is no Minister of Health as at now, yet the bill was passed just few days to dissolve the house for the new elected Senators to take over.

It now requires governments and the international community at large to stand by their commitments and to allocate resources to translate them into action.



Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture


I love this! Congrats to the women of Nigeria. It made me laugh out loud to hear that they were only let in after threatening to go nude--use whatever tools you have!



"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

vivian's picture

O thank you Rachael, it is

O thank you Rachael, it is said that women use what they have to get what they want. This is a good example of that. This is good news for all Nigeria women.



''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

olutosin's picture

This is a landmark!

I congratulate Nigerians, This is the kind of news I love to air and hear..... The moment we are conscientice and ready to make a change, it will seems as if it is magical.......Another World is Possible, I believe. Thanks for reporting Vivian.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


vivian's picture

Thank you sister, i have to

Thank you sister, i have to report becos i am now a citizen journalist


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

WILDKat's picture

Leading America to new views

Congratulations! WIl American women learn from you. Women put boots to the streets and combined your voices marched your nation's men to sharing responsibility for the country's combines wellness. Thanks you for being the model!

Naturally grateful,
Kat Haber

"Know thyself." ~ Plato

vivian's picture

Sure, this is a good example

Sure, this is a good example for all women and it can be applicable to other country.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

busayo's picture

Great News Indeed

Nigerian Women are moving forward. More of these great news. Thanks Vivian for posting this in the community


Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria

vivian's picture

Thank you too for being here

Thank you too for being here o read and encourage me.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

warona's picture

uuuh! what a way forward

Dear Vivian,

Women power! GO GO GO............!!! We support women of Nigeria , in solidarity we applaud you for taking your stance. You have shaken your government to pass the health bill. Congrdulations on achieving this.

May God strenghthen women of Nigeria.


"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

vivian's picture

Thank you for your support

Thank you for your support and concern for Nigeria women. Am sure we will get there will the new leaders on seat, am sure of a change in Nigeria


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

One of Many's picture

well thought-out story

Vivian, you did a great job looking ahead to what challenges lie ahead, in this long process of shifting the mortality risk -- the bill is the first, big step, and regardless of what they said about not doing it because of the women, we know they made a huge difference.

I hope that men and women can work together, and make sure they follow through on this, fund it, and get a strong Minister of Health. And if the men won't work with you, the women by themselves will see that it happens.

Nigeria has come so far and I applaud this magnificent marker of the tenacity and strength of the women who protested.

Thank you, Vivian.

Speaking my Peace

Speaking my Peace

vivian's picture

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for believing in my country, i really hope a competent Minister will be appointed to oversee the implementation of the health bill to favour everyone in Nigeria.


''Every woman have a story at every stage of Life''

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